As a recovering workaholic, I can easily get sucked back into the grind and stress. If I haven’t completed my to-do list, I set my alarm to a painful early morning hour to finish up the project. My mind is in “rush mode” and body enjoys working in the flow. So I produce a lot in a short amount of time. Yet, in doing so, the heaviness of stress sits on my chest. For many years, I convinced myself that my type-A personality fueled my success. Yes, some stress motivates performance, though research shows continual long-term stress harms our health. So, as a part of the Wellness Work Series, I have outlined a few healthy stress reduction / stress management tips for busy individuals and especially working parents.
If I could have one wish, outside of winning the lottery and maintaining good health for my family, I would ask a genie in a bottle to grant me a cleaning lady daily. I feel calmer when my house is organized, free of dust bunnies and relatively clean. Since I haven’t seen the big check yet, I’m still looking for ways to keep my house presentable. Now that I embrace a clean lifestyle, it’s not just about eating wholesome foods, keeping active and wearing mineral makeup, it’s also about using non-toxic cleaning products within the home. Many conventional cleaning products have chemicals and other ingredients that are potentially harmful for our health.
I used to be that person who started her diet or training “tomorrow.” But in recent years, the power of Nike’s famous slogan, “Just Do It” has resonated. An over-thinker to the core, I learned to stop analyzing and just put one foot in front of the other toward a small healthy goal. I remember days with only few hours of sleep, rushing to drop the baby at daycare then off to hours worth of boardroom meetings. My mind was so active with the stress of getting through the day, I always thought I was too busy to take care of myself.
I remember pulling overnighters in high school, wired with energy after drinking an entire two-liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. Study sessions both in high school and college entailed a cornucopia of sweets from gummy cola bottles to bags of sugary Dubble Bubble gum. Once I joined the workforce, these studying conditions transitioned into bad workplace habits. I walked into conference rooms double-fisted with my Diet Dr. Peppers. I often lost track of time due to a ferocious back-to-back meeting schedule. Naturally, I then ran to the vending machine to grab two bags of the least fattening carb-y snack. I assumed the mid-day anxiousness was from stress, not my overly caffeinated state and lack of nutrients. But what was a busy girl to do? I didn’t really think my “sorta bad habits” were harming me. Plus, I had conference calls to make, presentations to create and deadlines that I couldn’t shake. This pattern went on for many years. Now, I’ve tweaked my habits. The intensity of owning my own business, managing my cancer and balancing life rivals the stress (albeit differently, but still stress) from my corporate days, so I share my thoughts on how to eat clean at work.
I’ve been painting the town green the past 3-years. What I mean by this is that I’ve been telling everyone and anyone about my love of plant-based eating, as well as drinking green juices and smoothies. My family has been on board, knowing that I feel vibrant and my health is stable. (So there aren’t many “EWWWWW, that looks gross” comments.) We hit a huge milestone two years ago. Not only did my then, 6-year old, ask to try my green smoothie recipe, but he also wanted seconds. That interested my husband, who has been craving them ever since.
Do you use the New Year as an annual health seminar with yourself? In the past, I would host my own personal white board session, brainstorming all the ways I wanted to better myself in the coming year. These included exercising daily, losing weight, dining out less, reading more high-brow literature, analyzing business trade publications weekly and drinking less soda. I loved the idea of a new and improved me, but seldom made it past week two. According to Forbes, Only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. I clearly was in the 92%. So now, after a year of living clean, embracing a plant-based diet, yoga, powerwalking and using green products, I’ve comprised a list of 15 simple wellness tips. Hopefully, these will make it easy for you to pick an easily-attainable goal so you can take small steps toward better health and overall wellness.